Editorial Review

Walmart Rewards Mastercard Review: Impressive Everyday Savings

If you shop online, the rewards are among the best in its class. Get 5% cash back on purchases at Walmart.com and through the retailer's app, plus 2% at Walmart stores, at restaurants and on travel.

Robin Saks FrankelNovember 19, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

4.1

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: If you're a Walmart loyalist, you'll probably want this $0-annual-fee card in your wallet, but keep in mind that it gives you much greater value on virtual shopping than on the in-store kind.

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

17.99% - 26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$0
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Qualify with average credit

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Limited rewards for in-store shopping

  • No intro APR period

Alternate Pick: High rewards rate on everything

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

No categories to track

This card earns 2% cash back on every purchase: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay it off. There's no sign-up bonus, but the annual fee is $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

17.99% - 26.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

14.49% - 25.49% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

If Walmart is your preferred place for everyday shopping, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® can snag you some serious savings on top of the chain's already low prices.

The big-box behemoth — easily one of the country's largest retailers — sells very nearly everything, and its co-branded credit card offers some of the richest rewards rates in its class. It's aiming for top-of-wallet status, and not just when it comes to Walmart-related purchases.

The card is not a slam-dunk for all Walmart fans, though, especially for those who have little interest in online shopping or are seeking a slew of upfront perks. And if Walmart isn't already your preferred place to shop, this card won't make a lot of sense.

Nerd tip: Walmart and Capital One offer two credit cards: The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® is an "open-loop" product, meaning it can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The "closed-loop" Walmart Rewards Card can be used only within the Walmart brand umbrella. This review focuses on the open-loop card.

Key features of the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

Card type: Store.

Annual fee: $0

Rewards:

  • 5% back on purchases at Walmart.com and items purchased through the Walmart app. This includes items you buy online for in-store pickup as well as for Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery.

  • 2% back for in-store purchases, including those made at Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations.

  • 2% back at travel and restaurants.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

You earn points worth a penny each that can be redeemed in any amount at any time. Redemption options include a credit toward a purchase, a statement credit, applying your points during online checkout at Walmart.com, using them for gift cards, or for booking travel through the Capital One travel portal.

Sign-up offer: Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card in Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval. Walmart Pay is Walmart’s digital wallet, which you can use at checkout via your phone.

APR: The ongoing APR is 17.99% - 26.99% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Retail protections:

Travel protections:

  • Roadside assistance.

  • Travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

  • Travel assistance and concierge services.

Other benefits:

  • Instant credit access upon approval. Applicants can send a text to start the application process. Once approved and verified, they have immediate access to their card and can start using it.

  • Account alerts via email or text.

  • Virtual numbers for shopping.

  • Payment options. Choose your monthly due date, and you also may have the option to pay your statement in person at a Walmart store. Stores may accept payments “as a courtesy” if you have your card with you, but payments might not be credited the same day.

Nerd tip: Walmart's co-branded credit cards previously were issued by Synchrony. If you had a Synchrony-issued card, it was converted to a Capital One product in October 2019.

Why you might want the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

High ongoing rewards

Walmart sells almost anything you can think of, so if you don't mind doing most of your shopping online, you could earn 5% on almost everything you buy, including groceries via pickup or delivery. Even if browsing a brick-and-mortar Walmart is more your speed, you'll still get double rewards when you shop there. Bonus rewards are also possible on gas if you fill up at a Walmart fuel station, which includes Murphy USA stations. Outside of the Walmart umbrella, dining and travel snag you elevated rewards, too. In short, it's a solid everyday credit card.

Redemption flexibility

The only thing better than earning rewards is redeeming them, and the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® makes it easy to put your earnings to good use. There's no minimum redemption amount, and you have a plethora of choices for using your points. Options include applying them as a statement credit or to "erase" a purchase; booking for travel through Capital One's travel portal; or buying select gift cards available through the Capital One rewards redemption center. No matter how you use your points, they'll always be worth a penny each, and they'll never expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. (Note that literal cash back is not an option as a deposit to a checking or savings account, even if you bank with Capital One.)

Travels well

Since it's a Mastercard, you'll enjoy wide acceptance both at home and abroad. The card's lack of foreign transaction fees combined with the aforementioned travel protections and benefits make it a worthy traveling companion.

Drawbacks to consider

You have to track your rewards categories

Credit cards that offer different rewards rates in different areas of spending require some mental calisthenics. If you find it too cumbersome to manage such rewards tiers, a good alternative is a card that earns the same flat rate back on all of your spending. One option is the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which earns the same rate on everything you purchase, whether in-person or online. With this card, you'll get 2% cash back: 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay your bill.

Rewards on in-store shopping are limited

For a co-branded card, 2% back on in-store Walmart purchases isn't exactly jaw-dropping. It's true that there's a way to earn 5% back on in-store purchases in the first year you have the card, but it's a temporary promotion that requires a specific payment method. If you prefer to do your shopping inside Walmart's brick-and-mortar stores, you'd do just as well after Year One with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Or if you're willing to put in a little extra work for extra rewards, consider the Discover it® Cash Back. It earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending per quarter in rotating bonus categories that you activate. Previous bonus categories have included things like restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, Amazon.com and, yes, Walmart.com. The annual fee is $0, and it offers a unique bonus, which Discover phrases this way: "Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched..

There's no free shipping perk

Walmart.com itself advertises free shipping, but only on purchases of $35 or more. Other store cards, like the Target REDcard™ Credit Card, offer free shipping to cardholders on all eligible items, no minimum purchase required. The Target REDcard™ Credit Card also gives you the savings upfront, applying a 5% discount on eligible Target spending immediately at checkout, so you don’t need to keep track of how many rewards you have and when you want to redeem them.

There's no 0% intro APR period

The Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® doesn't come with an introductory interest-free window on purchases or balance transfers. Most other store cards don't either, but many cash-back credit cards do. The low end of the card's ongoing APR range is in line with the industry average, but not everyone will qualify for that rate.

You'll need good to excellent credit

If you're building or mending your credit score, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® may not be right for you. (The store-only version of the card is attainable for those with only average credit.)

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® vs. other major store cards

The rewards structure on the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® is relatively similar to two other cards aimed at those who place an emphasis on value pricing, getting most of their shopping done at one spot, or both.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card earns 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1% back on everything else. The catch? Although the card itself has an annual fee of $0, you have to be an Amazon Prime member to apply, which costs $119 annually ($59 for students). A Prime membership comes with free shipping and all manner of unrelated perks you can't get elsewhere, but there is no such membership fee requirement for the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®.

If you’re weighing the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® against the Target REDcard™ Credit Cardthe most notable difference is that the Target REDcard™ Credit Card offers a 5% discount at checkout at Target or Target.com, as opposed to 5% cash back on brand purchases. (The Mastercard version of the Target REDcard™ Credit Card offers the same 5% discount.) This makes a Target REDcard valuable and easy to use for Target loyalists, but there are no incentives for shopping outside of the Target brand, giving it less appeal as an everyday card.

Should you get the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®?

If you already do the bulk of your shopping at Walmart and you're OK with doing so mainly online, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® deserves a place in your wallet. You'll be rewarded not only for Walmart-related purchases, but also in several other helpful everyday categories.

If you don't shop at Walmart, don't live near one, or if another place suits your needs better, consider instead a general cash-back credit card that aligns with your budget.

Information related to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this page.